Advent 2022: Love Ripples Outward

Published December 19, 2022 by Bettye Carpenter

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

In the spring of 1973, we came to South Main Baptist Church to hear Dan Yeary preach on Sunday evenings. At that time, we were in the process of adopting an infant and completing our master's degrees. Our adoption application was complete, we thought, so we returned to Alabama to complete our graduate work. All things worked together for us, but not without some significant hiccups.

When we returned to Houston in the fall, our case worker asked for a reference letter from a minister. We needed the letter immediately. What to do? We were not members of South Main but had been attending regularly on Sunday evenings. I wondered, "Will Dan Yeary (South Main minister) help us even though we have not joined the church? He does not even know us!" With great trepidation, I called the church only to be told that Dan had been called to a church in Florida. I was devastated. What to do?

The solution was to tell the church receptionist exactly what we needed. I do not remember her name, but her sweet, kind voice soothed me. She made an appointment for the next day. We spoke to the Minister to Adults, Bob Hines, who received us with a warm and loving welcome. Our conversation centered around both parenting and our search for a church to support us as a couple As we thanked him effusively, he said "Come with me. I want to show you where you will be in Sunday School from now on." We were welcomed into that Sunday School community and the love of God showered us with a support system still in place today.

The love of God in our life is like a pebble being tossed into a lake with ripples reaching far and wide—from a caseworker, to a preacher, to a receptionist, to an adult minister who loved us, to a church that has been our support for over 45 years, and to the gift of our marvelous daughter, a son-in-love, and three beautiful grandchildren.

May this season of love be felt through the church family at South Main this season.